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July 28 , 2009

Broken Wings


In Broken Wings, Kahlil Gibran uncovers the glory and pain of young love. This loosely autobiographical story is in the tradition of Romeo and Juliet, but with Gibran's characteristic lush Oriental settings and images.
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The Prophet

Then the gates of his heart were flung open, and his joy flew far over the sea. And he closed his eyes and prayed in the silences of his soul.But as he descended the hill, a sadness came upon him, and he thought in his heart: How shall I go in peace and without sorrow? Nay, not without a wound in the spirit shall I leave this city.…

A young Kahlil is introduced to Faris Karama, a wealthy and good-hearted merchant of Beirut, and his daughter, Salma. Kahlil and Salma are deeply attracted to one another and continue to meet regularly, with the blessings of Faris Karama. But a powerful priest, Father Ghalib, in order to gain access to the Karama fortune, demands that his son be allowed to marry Salma.

Kahlil and Salma find ways to continue meeting in secret, but their love is doomed and Gibran exposes the social and personal hypocrisy that forbids true love to blossom.

Broken Wings is a deeply moving love story that explores the spiritual theme of the meaning of human existence in a world that contains profound beauty and love amidst the stains of greed and pains of suffering. Gibran eloquently speaks of the ways of the heart that can be denied, but only with tragic results.

Juan Cole's translation captures the magic of Gibran's matchless Arabic prose.

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